During the interview with Paula, she stated repeatedly that "design is planning". In the case of a designer (as such) this means organizing graphic elements (type, color, shapes, etc) in such a way that they visually communicate a message in a given space and medium. Writing is no different. I have a given set of elements (in this case my words and the transcriptions) and I have to organize them in a way that says what I want to say, fits with the publication for which I'm writing, and speaks on some level to their target demographic. This, too, is design.
It ties right in to the "six word story" posts I put up a few weeks ago, an idea that was taken to sublime levels by Wired (thanks to Tony and Russ for the tip).
The more work I do the more I realize that I have essentially two jobs: translator and engineer. First I'm taking a body of thoughts and ideas and rendering them into something meaningful, and then I'm building a structure to contain them. A weakness in either half of that endeavor -- and over the years there have been plenty -- means the other half is inherently less potent than it could and should be. The x-factor in that process is creativity.